Unlike many of the technical rivers in the Sierra Nevada, the Merced is much like a big whitewater slide flowing swiftly through a canyon covered in a colorful spring wildflower bloom.

In the spring snow melt, high water levels create huge hydraulics and enormous wave trains capable of capsizing a boat. Holes must be averted and wave trains must be plowed through in classic Class IV rapids like "Ned's Gulch" and "Corner Pocket."

At lower water levels in June, the Merced River is still a challenging Class III+ run and clearly deserving of its status as a Wild and Scenic River.

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